All Giraffes!

Traveling in Africa, we see lots of giraffes. I love the way they look and how they move. Imagining how they see things, I realize they have a specific, unusual perspective on the world.



Here are a few more photos of my tall friends.





Sometimes you get a good shot from an unfortunate perspective.



It’s a long way down for a giraffe to reach the water. Because the animal’s neck is so long, when it drinks, the blood rushes to its head, away from its heart, giraffes can only drink for limited time.



When we spotted giraffes on our drive, they seemed to be watching us as we watched them.

On our very long flight home, I couldn’t sleep so I decided to work on a painting. Here is my painting in progress.



I look forward to finishing my red giraffe.



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Children of Malawi

My husband, Gary, and I met up with the rest off our group, a delegation from Books For Africa, a US NGO that sends over 3 million books to Africa each year. We went to visit schools and libraries, to talk to the people and find out what they need.

We traveled to Malawi to see it first hand. The people in Malawi are desperately poor. They are all struggling. But the National Library of Malawi has a terrific distribution system and has been getting the books all over the country to folks who need them.

This student-or learner, as they are called- is Esther. She wants to be a nurse.

This student-or learner, as they are called- is Esther. She wants to be a nurse.

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The people are warm and friendly in Malawi and the children enthusiastic and lovely. Here are some pictures of children we met.

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HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES

On my husband, Gary’s birthday, we went with friends from Books For Africa to the clinic of Project Hope, a charity he supportedin Africa for 4 months last year. He made many friends there, particularly the director of this site, Ntombe.

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Ntombe was kind enough to give us a tour of the slum that her clinic serves. We entered the community of lean-to houses set on dirt roads, dusty with the heat. They were built of castoff materials, often topped with a roof of corrugated aluminum. Frequently the slums are home to more than 1 million people

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In this case, there was only one school in the whole community, looking just as ramshackle as the worst of them houses there. Ntombe explained that most of the children went to town for private school. I was amazed when she explained that if someone had a job as a cleaner, they would take the children to work and have them go to school there. Sometimes employers would send the children with their own. It is hard to imagine that even the poorest of the poor will not send their children to public school. Like parents everywhere,these people want their children to have better lives than they. All over Africa it is understood that education is the ticket.

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We stopped in Soweto to visit the Mandela House but it was closed. While Soweto was famous as Mandela’s house and as a Black township during apartheid, it now seems a thriving suburbia with lots of commercial activity and nightspots. We relaxed for a celebratory drink and, while we were there, I snapped this woman looking oh so dramatic. />

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WHERE IT’S SUMMER

Hello dear readers and happy new year!

I know I’ve been out of touch for a while but I was in the throes of leaving the continent for Africa and I’ve had a terrible time getting Wi-Fi since I’ve been here. We flew from New York JFK to Johannesburg South Africa nonstop in 15 hours. WHew, was that a long haul! When my husband, Gary and I arrived , we were picked up by a friend we made last year. She rescued us from the chaos of that airport and our travel, and took us to her lovely home in a “small holding” between Johannesburg and Pretoria. A small holding constitutes 15 acres a little further out than suburbia. Sandri and Chris  have a fantastic home that has a high, thatched roof that went up to stories inside and then two wings of their home that have their own thatched roofs inside the house.

My friends ' beautiful home.

K My friends ‘ beautiful home.

One of the 31 Nguni cows that my friends have for breeding.

One of the 31 Nguni cows that my friends have for breeding.

Pebbles, my favorite!

Pebbles, my favorite!

They inhabit their property with their two college age daughters, 4 dashound dogs, a dove that they rescued when it fell out of its nest and 31 head ofNguni cows that they keep for breeding. Nguni cows are really beautiful coming in a variety of colors and patterns ranging from white to brown to black and even to shades of pink in large patches and dappled variegated skin.

While  I’m not usually a dog person, having grown up with cats, I grew very fond of their dogs. My favorite was Pebbles.

I Will be sending you updates on my trip as regularly as I am able while traveling through southern Africa. The Wi-Fi here goes from poor to sporadic. I’ll be sharing my adventures on this journey, as well as the art work I’ve done along the way.

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Ringing In The New Year

Thank you for sharing my journey this year. I hope you are enjoying the holidays and that 2015 brings all things good into your life.

 

With love,signatureFrom my house to yours,Wishing you a

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Inspiration Strikes

For the last month I have been immersed in opening my studio and home to all of you who could make it to Brooklyn to see my work.  I was thrilled to meet you and share the art with you. Thank you for coming.

I’ve been enthusiastically using Instagram for a while and decided to make the Holiday Salon an Instagram event by painting an Instagram frame for us to take pictures in.

Sarah Lilly and I climb into the frame.

Sarah Lilly and I climb into the frame.

Brenda Becker brought her beautiful handmade books to share.

Brenda Becker brought her beautiful handmade books to share.

Caryn Kreitzer & I were trying to make it an all "Karen/Caryn" showcase.

Caryn Kreitzer & I were trying to make it an all “Karen/Caryn” showcase.

Please FOLLOW ME on Instagram @ArtistKarenFriedland

Coming out of all that entertaining, it has been a challenge to

Glossy, iridescent surface lets ink spread when it's sprayed with water.

Glossy, iridescent surface lets ink spread when it’s sprayed with water.

get back into the studio.  I had a bunch of new canvases and no idea what I was going to do with them.  Sometimes it’s really hard to get started.  I decided to try something completely new.  I decided to coat the canvas with a mixture of gloss medium and iridescent medium and broke out some new inks I had been waiting to try.

IMG_1011I kept going with the ink and spraying which produced organic shapes that made me think of bugs. I had lots of creepy crawlers going!

I now changed color palette

You can really see the light of the iridescence here.

You can really see the light of the iridescence here.

and brought in fuchsia which changed the feel of the whole piece.

From here, I added acrylic paint, most of it fluid, transparent paint.  Progressing to refine the composition saw the application of thicker, more opaque paint.IMG_1044IMG_1054

Using more opaque paint and adding diluted white, let me refine the design so it is still very active but not overwhelming.  I decided it was done.

"Scarab" 28"w, x 22"h,  acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas.

“Scarab” 28″w, x 22″h, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas.

I want to wish all of you a very happy holiday!  May you have a new year filled with joy, health and creativity!

Lots of love to you all and I’ll see you in the new year!

Karen

 

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PHILOSOPHY AND VALUES

It has been a very busy time for me of late, with the Open Studio & the Holiday Sale (see here) coming up this weekend, as well as 2 eight day stints with house guests.  But the underlying project that I was aching to have done was the redesign of my website.

I have hired a web designer to create a site that will make it easy for folks to purchase the art and he is building it right here on WordPress. But, there is a tremendous amount of content–images and text that go into it. So it was a big job for me too, creating and organizing content–including over 100 images–and writing what I wanted to tell my visitors about who I am.

I thought a long time about it. I wanted a statement of my philosophy, to tell you why I do what I do, from my heart and from my gut. I also wanted to let folks know what my core values are. Now that I’ve finished it, I thought I would share it here with you.  I hope you don’t think it’s overly flowery, it is my raison d’etre from deep within. Please let me know what you think.

My art is a business of the heart.  My creations are the vibrations that well up from within–an expression of life force as it bubbles forth with brilliant color and emotional energy. The vitality of my art flows from its vivid colors, and its movement dances across your soul. When you look at my art, I want you to become immersed in a lush environment of saturated colors where you can luxuriate in both energy and serenity, bathing your spirit. And I want that sense of lushness to imbue your living or work space, wherever you bring my art into your life. I value the connection my art makes when it touches the soul, making a living space joyful and exuberant, calm and meditative. I value the honesty of creative expression and the inspiration it provides.  Mine is a beauty quest, sharing what happens when color, form, texture, and design unite synergistically and make the spirit soar!

Here is a painting recently completed that you can see in person at the Holiday Sale:

"Under The Sea" 10" x 10" acrylic on hardboard, framed

“Under The Sea” 10″ x 10″ acrylic on hardboard, framed

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CREATIVITY FOR SALE

Now that we’ve all survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, taken a deep breath, it’s time to start shopping for our really special people. They are the family and friends who I know I want something unique for but I haven’t the faintest idea what!
And I hate those crowds!

It’s a challenge but I have a solution. It’s the PRIVATE Fine Art & Crafts Sale!

Fine Art & Crafts Salon

Friday, December 12th

6:00pm – 10:00pm

 Saturday, December 13th

11:30am – 5:00pm

 5 Houses on Marlborough Road

91, 92, 100, 120, 190 from Beverley Road to Church Avenue

Q to Beverly Road

Q or B to Church Avenue

Over twenty-five artists & crafts people are presenting a wide array of noteworthy art and distinctive hand-crafted items at five houses on Marlborough Road in Brooklyn.

Stop by to meet the artists, learn about their process and inspiration!

Catch up with neighbors and friends over a glass of something warm…and perhaps acquire the perfect gifts for the noteworthy and distinctive people on your list.

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P.S.  GREAT GIFT IDEA! An archival print, on paper or canvas. Take a look here. and let me know which you like. I will have it shipped here, personally sign it and it will be waiting for you at the sale.  (If there is a picture of mine you want from my website but don’t see it in the shop, email me and I’ll see if it can be done.)  Framing available. 

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SAVE THE DATE–DECEMBER 12 & 13

I just want to give you a heads up that I am participating in a PRIVATE HOLIDAY SALE with 15 other artists/artizens in 4 houses on Marlborough Road, Brooklyn on Friday evening, December 12th and Saturday, December 13th. A great gift buying opportunity for that truly special and unique gift.  Nothing says LOVE like a gift that’s handmade!

Put it on your calendar! More info coming closer to the event.

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OPEN STUDIO THIS WEEKEND

It’s been pretty crazy around here as I put the finishing touches on the Open Studio Show and Sale. I am getting excited, anticipating visitors but, at the same time, I feel vulnerable as I open my doors to share work that is so much a part of me. That’s made easier knowing friends will be there, so that’s why am sending you this reminder!

When you come, the colors and the energy of the paintings will envelop you, making spirits soar! There will be wine and refreshments to enjoy as you peruse the art. You can be part of the fun of a hidden Brooklyn Bridge game where you will have the chance at a gift giveaway. There will even be framing and art gifts that come along with any painting purchased!

So don’t forget to join me as I pop the cork on the Open Studio this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, November 8 and 9, 12 noon to 5 PM at 190 Marlborough Road, Brooklyn.

Can’t wait to see you!
Karen

P.S. The Q train is on my corner, Beverly Rd. station. And of course, admission is free.

I’ve made my first flipagram–a 15 second video portfolio. Check it out:

http://flipagram.com/f/LWHvmj4wbb

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